By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 17, 2007
Ever wondered who that voice on the Air Canada Jazz flights in French is?
Why, it's French Canadian native speaker Andre Clermont of Quebec of course!
Learn more about Andre Clermont, professional voice over talent specializing in both Canadian English and Quebecois French.
Stephanie: What role on the world stage does the language you speak play in the world of voice over? Is your language in demand in places other than where you are from?
AndrÃ©: French is the 11th language in the world and is spoken in more than 60 countries by 79,572,000 native speakers according to The Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) Ethnologue Survey (1999). Also, the International Organization of Francophonie has 51 member states and governments. Of these, 28 countries have French as an official language. French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents. French and English are the only two global languages.
French, along with English, is the official working language of:
â€¢ The United Nations
â€¢ Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
â€¢ The International Labor Bureau
â€¢ The International Olympic Committee
â€¢ The 31-member Council of Europe
â€¢ The European Community
â€¢ The Universal Postal Union
â€¢ The International Red Cross
â€¢ Union of International Associations (UIA)
French is the dominant working language at:
â€¢ The European Court of Justice
â€¢ The European Tribunal of First Instance
â€¢ The European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg
â€¢ The Press Room at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium
With these figures, it is easy to realize the potential of speaking this language!
Stephanie: What makes French a special language?
AndrÃ©: French has always been associated with love, culture, arts, fashion and bien sÃ»r! haute-cuisine. It is always a sign of refined and educated tastes.
Stephanie: Do clients look favorably upon your language skills here in North America?
AndrÃ©: Actually, I have not really invested time or efforts in my quest to get contracts YET! But again, French is in demand in any big company such as Coca-Cola, IBM, any airline etc. I will keep you posted with my results.
Stephanie: How do you market your voice?
AndrÃ©: Well I was able to get my first contract with Air Canada Jazz and I was not even online with Voices.com. It was through a â€œtalent showâ€ within the company where we had to perform a series of interviews over the phone. From there with Voices.com, I am sure that it will be easier to get contracts.
Stephanie: Do you have the ability to speak more than one language? If so, is this a great advantage for you?
AndrÃ©: I do speak English as most people do. I do not really think that it is an advantage unless someone is looking for a French speaking man with an accent. But we never know!
Stephanie: What is the difference between a native speaker of your language and someone who is a descendant of a native speaker living abroad?
AndrÃ©: Living in Quebec City, I usually speak more like a QuÃ©bÃ©cois with my friends and relatives. However, I can adapt my level of language to accommodate any French speaking individual. In fact, when working, I speak the international French, like the one seen on TV like Radio-Canada. So It all depends! There is a wide variety of accents in any language. The English spoken in New York is not the same as in Texas or England. The same applies to French. So depending on what "color" the client is looking for, one cannot say that a native speaker is better than another person with a different accent.
Stephanie: What do you have to give them as a native speaker of your language that no one else can?
AndrÃ©: The fact that my voice has already been playing on Air Canada Jazz planes operating more than 800 flights a day and carrying 800 million passengers a year is a GREAT business card and demo! Also, I would have to say that my accent, being international, could be used anywhere from AT&T to American Airlines! The fact that it is neither French from France nor QuÃ©bÃ©cois makes it best of both worlds or should I say all worlds! I really have this clear kind of French pronunciation which makes it easier for people to hear and understand each word.
To learn more about AndrÃ© Clermont, visit his website:
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